If you have a weekend flight going to or coming from Buffalo, you may have reason to be concerned.

One woman expressed her frustrations on the Buffalo SubReddit after her daughter had to sleep overnight in Atlanta, GA because her flight was canceled, but the reason why is pretty crazy. 


Buffalo airport closed at 9 PM
by u/arweg01 in Buffalo

“They finally boarded and were supposed to land in Buffalo around 9:30 PM.,” the mother wrote on Reddit. 

“Then the captain came on and said that Buffalo Niagara International Airport is CLOSING at 9 and wouldn’t stay open to allow the plane to land at 9:30!”

An airport closing at 9 PM is pretty unheard of, especially because – according to the Buffalo Niagara Airport official website – “the terminal is open 24/7” although food does not typically open until 5 AM. 

So…Is This Normal?

The short answer is no. There has been some construction going on around the Buffalo Niagara Airport since May, and it’s caused the hours and operations to adjust accordingly to the construction crews work times. 

An Air Traffic Controller from the Buffalo Niagara Airport gave us some insight as to what exactly is going on around at the airport. 

“There is major construction going on for one of the runways, part of that construction needs to be completed at the intersection of the one open runway we have,” the Air Traffic Controller said. “So, to do so, they have to close the whole airport to work on that intersection.”

There Are Two Types Of Airport Closures For This Construction

During a construction project like the one that is underway, there are two types of closures: a soft closure and a hard closure. 

What Is A Soft Closure? 

A soft closure is where the airport is open and the runway is closed, but given a 30 minute notice, it can reopen it and allow a plane to land. 

What Is A Hard Closure?

A hard closure is typically only a few weekends throughout the summer at night. The reason why it’s usually on a weekend is because the construction crews will actively tear up the runway and cannot allow any planes to land until it's completed.

If a flight was to get delayed until after the hard closure was already underway, there would be nothing that you could do. 

When Will The Construction End?

Luckily, the construction should be over in mid-September, but sometimes construction can last a little longer than anticipated, so we can’t say for sure how long this will last.

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